Richard: Who came up with the name "Zero-G"?
Alex Zamm: When I first started developing the story, it had a number of different working titles... including the lamest one of all -- “Space Rock”, which was better suited for either an outer space rock opera or a story about an alien cocaine ring. But after many discussions, Zero-G was the title struck a chord for the whole creative team. For me, Zero-G refers not only to the state of weightlessness in space, but also for how Atom (and many of us) feel about our place in the universe…insignificantly tiny and floating un-tethered in an unknowably vast universe.
Richard: What is the basic storyline of "Zero-G"?
Alex: In a nutshell, Zero-G is about a mission to mine a mineral rich asteroid that turns out not to be an asteroid at all.
Richard: How was this asteroid created, is it natural?
Alex: Great question... but you'll have to wait until issue #3 to find out. Don't want to spoil things for you or your readers.
Richard: Who are the main characters and what are their personalities?
Alex: The main two characters are Atom Weaver and Evelyn Sanchez. They are scientists who used to go out with one another. But in many ways they couldn't be more opposite. While Atom is cautious and cerebral with a self-deprecating sense of humor, Evelyn is a passionate risk taker who operates from her gut instincts. Both characters are very smart and innovative thinkers, which is what attracts them to one another.
Richard: Will there be intense competing among the different countries for what this asteroid holds?
Alex: Yes, whoever can mine the mineral rich asteroid first can change the balance of power on the planet. So, as a result, it's like the gold rush and every country and company that can get a tin can into space is trying to reach the rock first.
Richard: What is special about the crystals Atom found?
Alex: Another great question... and I promise you'll be more than wowed by the answer in issue #3.
Richard: Where is the story going from here will there be more issues after the first four?
Alex: I'd love to continue the story. Issue four both completes the story and at the same time opens up the beginning of a whole new story. I've been outlining next story installment of four books and it's shaping up to be equally mind-blowing.
Richard: How did you make your start writing comics?
Alex: I've always been a big fan of comics and of the comics medium for telling stories. A friend asked me if I wanted to contribute to an anthology he was publishing, entitled Comic Culture. I wrote a story called The Prune, about a geriatric superhero and was hooked. I had so much fun that I knew I wanted to write a larger story right away and in a genre that was different than my film work.
Richard: What do you have planned after Zero G?
Alex: I'm currently outlining two new graphic novels that are equally as outrageous as Zero-G. On the film side, I'm busy prepping to direct a live action/cgi adaptation of the Hanna Barbera cartoon character, Hong Kong Phooey.
Richard: Would you like to work on a regular monthly comic?
Alex: Absolutely! There are some characters with whom you just want to keep hanging out and who suggest further stories and adventures. But I also love stories that are finite, with clear beginnings, middles and endings.
Richard: Are you a sci-fi fan of movies or books?
Alex: Yes, I'm been a huge sci-fi fan ever since I was a kid. In fact, I still have my father's collection of H.G. Wells stories that he gave me when I was 12…mind blowing stuff! I love sci-fi that really resonates and rattles around in your brain long after you've finished the book or seen the movie. Terminator, the Planet of the Apes films and 2001 all had that effect on me. The questions they leave you with are fantastic!
Richard: Do you have any ideas for creating other comic books?
Alex: Yes…unfortunately I have too many ideas. I'd need to give up sleeping to get them all down on paper.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Alex: ABZAMM@AOL.COM is the best way.
Richard: Any final words of wisdom?
Alex: I hope everyone has as much fun reading Zero-G as I did writing it and working with Jason, Annette and the entire crew at SpaceDog to put the books together.
Richard: What was it like working with Annette Kwok on the cover of issue two?
Jason Badower: Annette is part cinematographer, special effects unit, make-up artist and my all round secret weapon. She took my notes and art for the cover of book 2 and used her magic to turn my nice piece into a masterpiece.
Richard: Do you like working on covers as much as interiors?
Jason: I love telling stories. Covers challenge you to tell that story in one single, bold, eye-catching and well-designed image. Interiors allow you more space than a cover, but present that same storytelling challenge with every panel and every page. Covers are a refreshing break from interiors.
Richard: If you had to pick one word to describe your art what would it be and why?
Jason: Unique. While I have my influences, I can honestly say that no one draws like I do. I've worked very hard to create a professional, unique vision which stands on its own two legs rather than on the shoulders of an established creative giant.
Richard: Which character do you enjoy drawing the most in "Zero G"?
Jason: Evelyn. Comics are full of beautiful women. So for me, it's injecting them with strength, character and personality that make the job really interesting. Alex's incredible writing makes that job extremely easy.
Richard: What aspect of drawing do you enjoy most?
Jason: Creating the most convincing and realistic performance for my characters keeps me glued to the page. Zero G has such an incredible character arc for both Evelyn and Atom. Getting inside their heads every panel and communicating their evolution is so much fun for me.
Richard: How did you get involved with the Heroes graphic novels?
Jason: I art directed Aron Eli Coleite (writer and producer on Heroes and current writer of Ultimate X-Men) on a comic which he had to quit when his tv show took off. Someone told me to watch Heroes and I saw his name. I sent him an email congratulating him and he asked me what I was currently doing. I showed him Zero G and he was so impressed he asked me if I wanted to draw the Heroes graphic novels. Of course I said, "ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY!"
Richard: Are you a fan of the TV show?
Jason: I'm a huge fan of the show. I was talking to Joe Pokaski (writer and producer on Heroes) who mentioned that the fans on the 9th Wonders boards seem to really love me. I replied saying that while some of the other artists on the team are better than me, and some are worse than me, none of them care more than me. I am a huge fan of the show. I make sure every detail in the Heroes graphic novels is as perfect as I can make it.
Richard: Do you have a favorite Hero you enjoy drawing?
Jason: For convention sketches, definitely Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura). In hundreds of sketches of Hiro, I've never done a bad picture of him.
Richard: What is the best advice you could give to other artists?
Jason: The same advice that legendary editor and writer the late Archie Goodwin gave me. In order of importance learn reliability, being great to work with and then if you're work is good, that's a bonus. I'm trying for the hat trick.
Richard: Who has influenced your work the most?
Jason: I made a firm rule to avoid being influenced by one artist. Brian Bolland's digital technique, Frank Quitely's design, John Cassaday's performances, Brian Hitch's scale and Steve McNiven's grace of line.
Richard: Why are you involved with martial arts?
Jason: I used to get beat up when I was 13. The school was unable to help, so I started training 6 days a week for 3 hours a day. I worked so hard to be as good as my naturally gifted friends. They quit, but I had worked too hard to quit. My hard work eventually paid off with some titles, trophies and unforgettable experiences that have made me who I am as a person.
Richard: How do you feel about the Icon Superman?
Jason: Superman is the greatest superhero... ever. Heroes are people whose personalities you should look up to and want to be like. People rave about Batman, but I have little interest in looking up to a sociopathic vigilante. Superman embodies three very important traits to me: compassion, sacrifice and integrity.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Jason: You can swing by my artblog at http://jasonbadower.blogspot.com and leave a comment and start some discussion or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , I'd love to hear what you think of Zero G.
Richard: Any last words for the fans?
Jason: Zero G gets better and better every issue in both story and art. If book 4 doesn't absolutely knock your socks off and justify every hard earned cent you spent on every issue you probably don't have a pulse.